Advantages of having a Grievance Procedures
The following are some of the distinct advantages of having a grievances handling procedure:
The management can know the employees’ feeling and opinions about the company’s policies and practices. It can feel the ‘pulse’ of the employees.
With the existence of a grievance handling procedure, the employee gets a chance to ventilate his feelings. He can let off steam through an official channel. Certain problems of workers cannot be solved by first line supervisors, for these supervisors lack the expertise that help the top management has, by virtue of their professional knowledge and experience.
It keeps a check on the supervisor’s attitude and behaviour towards their subordinates. They are compelled to listen to subordinates patiently and sympathetically.
The morale of the employees will be high with the existence of proper grievance handling procedure. Employees can get their grievances redressed in a just manner.
The Discovery of Grievances:
Grievances can be uncovered in a number of ways. Gossip and grapevine offer vital clues about employees’ grievances. Gripe boxes, open door policies periodic interviews, exit surveys could also be undertaken to uncover the mystery surrounding grievances. These methods are discussed below.
A manager / supervisor can usually track the behaviours of people working under him. If a particular employee is not getting along with people, spoiling materials due to carelessness or recklessness, showing indifference to commands, reporting late for work or is remaining absent the signals are fairly obvious. Since the supervisor is close to the scene of action, he can always find out such unusual behaviours and report promptly.
A systematic grievance procedure is the best means to highlight employee dissatisfaction at various levels. Management, to this end, must encourage employees to use it whenever they have anything to say. In the absence of such a procedure, grievances pile up and explode in violent forms at a future date. By that time things might have taken an ugly shape altogether, impairing cordial relations between labour and management. If management fails to induce employees to express their grievances, unions will take over and emerge as powerful bargaining representatives.
gripe boxes may be kept at prominent locations in the factory for lodging anonymous complaints pertaining to any aspect relating to work. Since the complainant need not reveal his identity, he can express his feelings of injustice or discontent frankly and without any fear of victimization.
Open door policy:
This is a kind of walk-in-meeting with the manager when the employee can express his feelings openly about any work-related grievance. The manager can across-check the details of the complaint through various means at his disposal.
Employees usually leave their current jobs due to dissatisfaction or better prospects outside. If the manager tries sincerely through an exit interview, he might be able to find out the real reasons why ‘X; is leaving the organisation. To elicit valuable information, the manager must encourage the employee to give a correct picture so as to rectify the mistakes promptly. If the employee is not providing fearless answers, he may be given a questionnaire to fill up and post the same after getting all his dues cleared from the organisation where he is currently employed.
Surveys may be conducted periodically to elicit the opinions of employees about the organisation and its policies.
It is better to use as many channels as possible, if the intention is to uncover the truth behind the curtain.
Despite the fulfillment of the above pre-requisites, there is some inherent impersonality in the procedure which makes it insensitive to imaginary and disguised grievances. Hence, they should be supplemented or sometimes replaced by a good personal approach, i.e., the grievance interview. This also facilitates the identification of the basis-whether factual or not. Even when the basis is factual the grievance interview reduces the magnitude of the problem and develops an understanding between the aggrieved and the organisation.
The effectiveness of the interview depends upon the skills on the part of the interviewer. He must give a patient to the employee and the employee should feel to ventilate his grievance. If the interviewer is competent in professional handling of the situation and well conversant with the techniques of interview he can draw the aggrieved to him and in the process of interview he can bring about an integration of the employee’s objectives with the organisational objectives.